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Gigantic Testbed 80 begins operations including for SAF trials

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Rolls-Royce has officially opened Testbed 80 - the world’s largest and smartest indoor aerospace testing facility in the UK.
The completion of the project is a major milestone after almost three years of construction and a £90 million (€100 million) investment.
With an internal area of 7,500m2, making it larger than a Premiership football pitch, Testbed 80 was designed with distinctive technologies and systems which are more capable and complex than any of our other testbeds.
The testbed conducted its first run on a Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine at the test facility in Derby earlier this year.
Testbed 80 is equipped with a 140,000 litre fuel tank for different fuel types, including sustainable aviation fuel.
Warren East, chief executive of Rolls-Royce, said: “Testbed 80 is the largest facility of its type in the world. However, it is not only big, it is also smart and features the most advanced testing technology we have ever used. As the new global hub of our testing capability, it will support the next stage of our UltraFan programme as we begin ground testing the first demonstrator in 2022.
“This incredible piece of infrastructure is a very visible sign of our commitment to this site and secures the future of Derby as the home of large engine development, continuing a history that began in the late 1960s with the RB211.”
Testbed 80 has been designed to support the firm’s commitment to greater use of SAF. Next year, Rolls-Royce plans to run its first UltraFan demonstrator test using 100% SAF.